At the moment, the United States’ drinking age is 21 in all states, though this is a quite current development. Essentially, the drinking used to be 18 up to early 1980s (“CDC – Fact Sheets”). Many have questioned about why the minimal drinking age is 21 within the United States yet the age of 18 is considered as the age in which people are regarded to be legal adults. Unlike the United States, other European countries have their drinking age to be 18 (“CDC – Fact Sheets”). Legally, 21 is the national drinking age in the United States a current phenomenon that was implemented in the 1980s as a mitigation approach to the drank driving-related accidents epidemics that were rampant (“CDC – Fact Sheets”). This paper will argue the need to lower drinking age as well as a counter-argument against lowering of the drinking age.
The drinking age needs to be reduced from the current national minimum drinking age of 21. In fact, the drinking age should be lowered from to 18 or even 16. This is because teenagers still drink regardless of being an illegal behavior (“Amethyst Initiative”). This means that the laws providing that the legal drinking age is 21 is not effective and needs to be amended by considering the lowering of the minimum drinking age as a way of addressing the issue of illegal drinking behavior by teenagers. Lowering the drinking age will help to minimize the rate of illegal behavior of drinking since allowing individuals between the age of 18 and 21 to drink alcohol within regulated conditions under supervision would increase unsafe drinking behavior (“Amethyst Initiative”). The prohibition of such age groups from having alcoholic drinks from clubs, bars, and other licensed alcohol dealers makes them develop inappropriate drinking behaviors in an unsupervised location whereby they are susceptible to binge drinking and unaccepted and unsafe behaviors.
Since the United States considers the age of 18 to be the age of adulthood, the drinking age should then be lowered to 18 because adults ought to have rights for making their own decisions regarding alcohol usage. Reaching the age of 18 involves obtaining adulthood rights and obligations including right to vote, smoking of cigarette, serving as a jury, getting engaged and married, undergoing through prosecution and as well joining the military (Carpenter and Dobkin 135). Therefore, having an age limit of 21 as the drinking age infringes the rights of those who are 18 and now considered as adults. It overlooks and undermines their capacity to make decisions on their own about consumption of alcohol which eventually leads to illegal drinking behaviors. Since those at the age of 18 are prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol, and yet they feel that they are matured enough to consume alcohol, they tend to develop illegal drinking strategies due to fear of getting caught and also the limits of purchasing alcohol which can result in alcohol poisoning and other alcohol-related negative effects (Carpenter and Dobkin 138). To avoid all these issues, the government should lower the drinking age to 18 so as to enable them to use proper ways and safe of purchasing and consuming alcohol like any other adult.
On the other hand, the national drinking age ought not to be reduced since it will be medically negligent. This is because alcohol drinking interrupts teenagers’ brain frontal lobes development crucial for the operation of functions like organizing, planning and also regulation of emotions (McCartt et al. 174). In the event that alcohol consumption interrupts such a young adult brain development, the young adult is prone to chronic problems like increase vulnerability to alcohol addiction, dangerous and unsafe risk-taking behaviors, poor decision-making ability, loss of memory, suicide, violence, and depression (McCartt et al. 175). Reducing the minimal drinking age increases the rate of young adults exposed to alcohol consumption and therefore increasing rate of young adults prone to developing these chronic problems (McCartt et al. 176). Our young adults’ health and wellbeing are more important and therefore, it is crucial to maintaining the national drinking age at 21 so as to promote healthiness among young adults in the country.
The national minimum drinking age of 21 is determined to reduce alcohol consumption as well as the rate of underage alcohol drinkers. About 87% of the studies undertaken, with regards to Meta research on the minimum drinking age legally accepted identified that higher drinking ages are attributed to low alcohol drinking (“CDC – Fact Sheets”). A number of studies have asserted that when 21 is the minimum drinking age, individuals younger than 21 tend to drink less and proceed to drink less alcohol throughout their early 20s, also those youths who do not drink at all till they are at the age of 21 have a tendency of drinking less when they become adults (“CDC – Fact Sheets”). In essence, the 21 drinking age limits the number of those who consume alcohol thus resulting in reduced alcohol-caused incidences such as road accidents and violence.
To sum up, the minimum legal drinking age is really a major concern to the United States government and the community at large. Arguments have been presented on the need to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18 as well as counter-arguments against lowering of the drinking age. The arguments have been based on why the minimal drinking age is 21 within the United States yet the age of 18 is considered as the age in which people are regarded to be legal adults. Unlike the United States, other European countries have their drinking age to be 18. Essentially, the minimum drinking age should be lowered because teenagers still drink regardless of being an illegal behavior meaning that the Minimum Legal Drinking Age law is not effective and needs to be amended by considering lowering the drinking age so as to address the issue of illegal drinking behavior by teenagers. Another reason to lower drinking age is that adults need to have rights for making their own decisions regarding alcohol usage since attaining the age of 18 is considered to be an adult of which adulthood comes with rights and obligations. Contrary to this, the minimum drinking age should not be lowered be lowered as it will be medically irresponsible that can result in chronic problems to young adults. Also, by retaining the minimum drinking age at 21, helps to minimize the rate of alcohol consumption and also the rate of underage alcohol drinkers. The arguments for and against lowering of the minimum drinking age will never agree as they are based in differing perspective. The arguments supporting the lowering of the drinking age views this phenomenon in a democratic perspective whereby they assert that it should be lowered to the age of 18 because persons at the age of 18 are adults and have individual and corporate rights which allow them to drink alcohol. For the arguments against lowering the drinking age are based on health and individual wellbeing. Therefore, these two sides of arguments will not agree due to their different perspectives.